In 2018, businesses spent an average of $5.47 million dollars to maintain compliance with industry regulations. It may seem like a huge cost but it pales in comparison to the average losses for noncompliance; companies can expect to pay an average of $14.82 million for a non-compliance event. The leading organizations for compliance costs are financial services ($30.9 million average), healthcare ($19 million average) and media organizations ($7.7 million average). Regulations like HIPAA, HITECH and SOX are among the greatest costs and concerns for businesses, and fax issues are a large portion of the equation.
The ability to transmit and store protected consumer and patient information is arguably one of the largest priorities for organizations who fax. Failure to safeguard this information results in huge penalties that threaten the financial stability of even larger companies, which is why it’s essential to ensure your fax solution is secure and compliant with all federal and state/local regulations and laws.
How Regulations Pertain to Faxing
Each set of industry regulations dictate how documents and data should be handled when faxing:
- HIPAA: the largest concern is privacy violations. Those who fax patient information must ensure they are being sent to the correct recipient and only those who are authorized to view the information are able to view it.
- HITECH: the HITECH Act dictates that healthcare facilities like hospitals should adopt electronic health records systems when dealing with patient information. These documents must also have a “meaningful use” for patients that include patient care, engagement, etc. When it comes to faxing, organizations need to ensure their fax servers are properly integrated with their document storage systems, allowing their fax server to send and receive documents without users having to manually print and scan them.
- SOX: Sarbanes Oxley holds financial organizations accountable for their security and accuracy of communication, documents and other correspondence. When it comes to faxing, organizations need to ensure the document is safely transferred to a fax machine and then sent via fax to the intended recipient. Like with HIPAA and HITECH, a fax server’s ability to integrate with an ERP or other document storage system is integral to maintaining compliance with SOX.
Resources for Maintaining Fax Compliance
Organizations should work with their legal and compliance teams to ensure they fully understand the regulations that govern their industry as well as the precautions and actions they must take to maintain compliance. Organizations like HITRUST provide resources for those in the healthcare industry, and there are plenty of other resources that can be used to prevent breaches from occurring.
When it comes to faxing, ensure that you have a secure fax server set up at your organization that is using encrypted channels to send and receive messages. Also, remember that no matter how secure your IT infrastructure is, there is no technology that can fully prevent user error from occurring. Proper training for team members is essential to ensure they know how to handle protected information.
If you are uncertain about how your fax solution can help you maintain compliance at your organization, contact The Fax Guys today.